Which State Is The Worst?

I’m basing this post in a thread that started a few days ago, about which state had the worst gun laws.  So I thought I’d do a poll, and spark some discussion.  I think it really depends on what you want to do.  If you live in the right place, you can get a carry license in Massachusetts and California, but you can still buy an AR-15 in New Jersey and New York (though it has to be neutered of ‘evil’ features).   So what do you think?

[poll 12]

22 thoughts on “Which State Is The Worst?”

  1. Hawaii. The fight is effectively lost there. They had a successful court case a few years back, but absolutely nobody followed up on it.

  2. Hawaii has NO carry, bringing a firearm onto the highways is a felony, mandatory registration of all firearms with serial number and a picture of the owner, no “assault pistols” (as defined by statute), no assault weapons, no large capacity magazines, exc.

  3. Jdude:

    I read that Hawaii had some hardcore gun laws, I was thinking of going to a match out there later this year, not even sure of how to do it legally as a non resident

  4. Hawaii’s gun laws do indeed suck. But to tell the truth, I never think about it when I think about states with crappy gun laws. Still, my understanding is that assault weapons are still mostly legal in HI, and that they only restrict magazines. The law on registration is pretty bad, though, from what I’ve heard.

  5. Getting a permit to but in NJ is fairly easy – no carry of course unless you are very well connected. The banned weapons thing pisses me off – especially the M-1 Carbine ban.

    MA is definitely more of a hassle in getting a buy-permit. They also have strange laws when it comes to moving there with legal guns bought elsewhere.

    I don’t know much about NY, except NYC has ridiculous laws that I ignore if I’m driving up I-95.

  6. Hawaii’s are the worst.
    We DO have a carry concealed law, but the sheriff has NEVER issued a permit.
    Registeration is limited to 1 hour Wednesdays in Kona.
    It seems to me that most people just ignore the laws…

  7. This poll is not fair. All of these states have bad gun laws. Nor did you include Hawaii. None of these states are exactly the same but they all suck big time.

  8. i picked NJ… any state that considers my 60 year old sears .22 an assault weapon because of its 17rd tube magazine needs to just fall into the ocean…

  9. ‘but the sheriff has NEVER issued a permit’

    Actually, didn’t a sheriff issue one to his daughter in law or some such? caused a bit of a stir, IIRC.

  10. Honestly guys, Hawaii is not the worst of the list up there. It is true that you have to register all firearms, but I wouldn’t worry about that list leaving the state, or even the file cabinet in the back of the Honolulu police station. Assault pistols (vaguely defined, but AR-15 pistol counts) are banned and pistol magazines can’t be more than 10 rounds, but rifle magazines can. Some people argue that since there are pistol versions of many rifles (AR-15 again) that you can’t have full-capacity magazines, but there have been no cases (that I’m aware of) of anyone getting in any legal trouble just for having one. I personally have been on the range with police present and none of them even looked twice at my magazines. There is no “assault weapons” ban on rifles out here, so you can have all the “evil” features like collapsible/folding stocks and bayonet lugs. Unfortunately, no NFA items are allowed, period. The carry permit issue is unfortunate, because while we are a “may issue” state, the Chief of Police is a gun fearing wussy and will not issue them. His appointment is up for review this year, he is not very popular, including among the police (I’ve heard), so we may fix this one with a new Chief.
    I don’t want anyone to think that I am saying any of the above is acceptable, it is not. I am just saying it is not worse than Illinois, New Jersey or Massachusetts.

  11. Why not post up a list of the best states for gun ownership and encourage readers to move to one of those states? Since we generally represent the most productive segment of the population, perhaps we should state acting with our feet and wallets?

    If you are a gun owner in Massachusetts, California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, or Maryland then move to a better state, as the one you’re presently in doesn’t deserve you.

    Neither do you deserve it.

  12. Nope – staying and voting (with both my votes and my money). NJ may be on the list, but CA is worse. And there are pro-gun pols in NJ

  13. But California doesn’t have near the harassment that NJ has.

    California is way better than New Jersey. (Of course, this assessment was made before they passed lead-ban laws, but NJ doesn’t have many places to shoot either…)

  14. Illinois.

    I have to carry my goddamn FOID card at all times. Takes damn near two months to get it renewed. If you move? Gotta REAPPLY for one. If you’re denied, have fun in court for 2 years trying to even find out WHY.

    Oh yeah, if the address on your driver’s license doesn’t match the FOID card, you can’t buy guns or ammo.

    I can drive to WISCONSIN and buy ammo, but not in Illinois.


  15. Very tough vote, and I almost wanted to vote for New Jersey because at least in my state I can own hollow point ammo, and my Marlin model 60 isn’t an “Assault Rifle”, as well as if I want to buy a new handgun I can do it just as fast as done in any free state in America.

    But I voted Massachusetts for one HUGE reason. As far as I know Mass is the ONLY state where the 2nd Amendment is 100% privilege and NOT a right.

    Yep in all others states (not familiar with Hawaii, but I haven’t heard anything to the contrary) you can walk into a gun shop and buy a Mossberg 500, or a Rem 870 and the worst you’ll have to do for a “low capacity” long arm is wait for a background check, and maybe a waiting period.

    In mass to buy ANY gun you need an gun permit, and the law stipulates these permits are may issue. If the chief was willing to put it in writing he could deny you for being black, or Protestant, or a registered Republican. People HAVE been denied for having noisy neighbors (yep not THAT person, but their Neighbor often had the cops called to break up parties) for failure to return a video to Blockbuster, hell for having a police officer check your permit to verify you are legally open carrying many have had their permits revoked. Yep no crime, Open carry is 100% legal here….but you will NEVER see a Mass resident open carrying or advocating another resident to do so.

    Moreover we have mandatory gun registration. Only allowed 4 face-to-face transfers of firearms with state residents per calendar year, and that is required to be reported to the state (of course in Mass they’re STILL attempting to close the “Gunshow Loophole”) we still have the AWB and the ban on “high Capacity” magazines, and we have a handgun roster that is even MORE restrictive than California’s

    On a final note some have called for me to move to New Hampshire or Vermont (great states) but sadly I didn’t move to Mass for gunnie reasons. I’ll likely live here until I retire. Still I always point out that you NEED gunnies like me. Where have all the big court cases just in the last few years happened? DC, California, Illinois, Somebody mentioned a case is Hawaii. You NEED gunnies in the bad states, just like you need soldiers in a war zone.

    Would our troops rather be in Hawaii or Okinawa for their tour of duty? Probably, but the work needs to be done in Hellish war zones, rather than sunny Islands with sandy beaches.

    New Hampshire has recently had a rash of anti-gun laws, as has Maine (I’m sure Vermont has too) as well as other nanny-state laws. This is because non-gunnie Mass Residents are fleeing the state for other reasons.

    Without us fighting in these political war zones you would just be fighting anti-gun encroachment in New Hampshire. The battle must be fought, here is where I stand.

  16. I said IL only because I’m in WI and my wife is from the Chicago South Side (yeah, Irish liberal family – fun, fun). I travel there quite often, and I simply ignore all their laws…

  17. It is also worth noting a lot (but not all) of what’s wrong with NJ gun regulation is due to extralegislative “interpretation”. The infamous “30 days is only a guideline, really” is due to the SCONJ. The law says issue within 30 days, period.

    Likewise the feature ban is the interpretation of the NJ AG of what “substantially similar” means.

    That having been said, NJ has some *truly* stupid laws, including the hi-cap mag ban, the “no diversions while traveling” law (which would prevent me from stopping off at the in-laws after a visit to the range near them), etc.

  18. Having lived in both states, I can assure you that Illinois is much worse than California. Cali’s concealed carry policy sucks, but at least you can get one if you live in the right city or county, and even if you don’t have a permit it’s a wobbler rather than an automatic felony. Also, for all its faults Cali has preemption, which Illinois sorely lacks. As annoying as it may be for a Californian to have to limit his handgun choices to those on the (rather lengthy) approved list, it sure beats living in Chicago or Oak Park (or, until very recently, half a dozen other suburbs) and being forbidden to own any handgun at all. That, plus needing to have a license simply to own any firearm doesn’t sit well with me; in CA all you need is to pass an “I’m not a complete idiot” test, and then only to purchase a handgun.

    NY is marginally better than Illinois, but still much worse than CA.

  19. I won’t argue with anyone has lived in two or more states stating which is worse. Xrlq, for example, has an experience I do not. That being said, I think Cali is worse because of the sheer number of laws and regulations. The statute code is ginormous.

    The legislature has made so many things illegal I don’t think anyone can keep up with it all. For example, my baton is illegal (that’s right, a stick is illegal) but my much larger and heavier cane is not. It’s crazy.

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